Monterey Nightlife: Theater, Concerts & More Fun Things to Do at Night

Jill at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Monterey nightlife includes fun things to do such as live music shows, sporting events, ghost tours, and sunset cruises. You will find something fun to do almost every night of the week.

Read on to learn more about what's coming up soon and what you can do almost any night during your stay.

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Monterey Nightlife

Concerts and Live Music

If you are looking for some of the best Monterey Nightlife, then you will want to start with some of the concerts and live music available in this area. There are a number of venues that you will want to check out during your stay here.

Some of the best venues include The Golden State Theatre in Monterey, the Sunset Center in Carmel by the Sea, Carmel Mission Basilica, the Monterey Fairgrounds, and other smaller places around this area. Some of the concert and live music venues include the surrounding areas north to Santa Cruz and south to Big Sur.

I've included a calendar of performances each month and where they are located. These are usually updated around four or five months in advance, so you can plan ahead, and I also update them as new shows are announced during the year.













Sporting Events

Even though Monterey is known more for wine tasting, restaurants, the Monterey Aquarium, and migrating whales, there are also some fun sporting events you can check out when you visit the areas around Monterey.

For those that want to stay local, your best bet is the Cal State Monterey University men's and women's sports teams.

Your best bet will be to hear a bit farther north and check out the city of Santa Cruz. The team you will want to see when you are out and about at night is the Santa Cruz Warriors. This team is the G-League team for the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco.

People love the games here because Santa Cruz has a great nightlife, lots of restaurants, and you are able to see some of the top-level players before they get into the NBA and become stars. Some of the current and past players include Kent Bazemore, Stephen Curry's younger brother Seth, and Klay Thompson's younger brother Mychal. The team is always exciting, and it has won the championship a number of times.

They play from October to April. Here are some of their upcoming games.

Theater Performances around the Monterey Bay Areas

For those that love live theater, then you will enjoy this section of the Monterey nightlife. There are numerous theaters, most of which are smaller and more intimate than San Francisco and the bigger cities up north, but you will still get high quality shows and performances.

Some of the main theaters in this area include The Monterey Pacific Community Theatre Company, the Sunset Cultural Center, the Pacific Repertory theatre and its two indoor and one outdoor location.

Some of the shows performed at these theaters have included Chicago, The Musical, Billy Elliot, Beauty and the Beast and others. Some of the smaller theaters in the area surrounding Monterey include Salinas' Forest Theater Guild and The Western Stage.

The city of Santa Cruz has the Jewel Theatre Company and the Mountain Community Theatre.

Sunset and Dinner Cruises

The Monterey area is well-known for the incredible bay cruises during the daytime, but the sunset and night time cruises are just as great and should not be missed when you visit here.

Most of these tours usually last about 1 and a half to 2 hours and depart around 5 to 6 pm depending on the season.

You'll enjoy the guided tour, as you learn more about the by and its inhabitants, while enjoying a complimentary glass of wine or water. Some of the animals you might see include sea otters, sea lions, dolphins and if you are there at the right time, migrating whales as you watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Ghost Tour of Monterey

If you want a scary, and fun, tour of Old Monterey, then you will want to check out the Ghost Tour of Monterey. This spooky tour is led by a local guide named Gary, who has researched everything about this mysterious city and all of the history that goes along with it.

This 90-minute tour allows you to ride in a classic trolley car for part of it and walk for part of it. You will find out more about special places in the city, locals who have met their demise here, and even visit a graveyard to finish it off!

There are different levels of tours, so make sure to check the website for pricing. You have to call, or buy your tickets from the website, in advance so seats don't sell out.

>> Find a full list of fun tours around Monterey Bay

Nightlife at the Monterey Museums

Most visitors know about the many amazing museums in Monterey. However, a few of them have nighttime events and I've listed two of them here. One of the favorites, day or night is the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Some of the various events are ones such as Sleepovers which are family friendly, Dia del Nino, Evenings by the Bay (for adults), Veteran's Day and other that will interest you. Dates and times change depending on the season, so check ahead and make sure which ones are available for your travel to the aquarium.

Salvador Dali was a famous painter and artist who came to Monterey and made it home for the rest of his life. The Dali Expo is an incredible museum which has over 500 of his pieces.

It is definitely worth a visit during the daytime and I highly recommend it. If you want to have a little fun during the late afternoon and early nighttime, I recommend the fun Paint at the Dali Expo experience which is the last Saturday of every month.

Bars and Restaurants

After a long day cruising around the area, you will probably want to hang out, have a few cold ones, and munch on a bite or two. Well, we've got you covered since Monterey and Carmel have some perfect spots to end your adventures.

Some of the favorites include The Salty Seal Brewpub and Sports Bar on Cannery Row, Alvarado Street Brewery, Schooners Coastal Kitchen and Bar, The Crown and Anchor, along with many others.

Carmel doesn't have as much of a nightlife, but a favorite is the Starlight 65 Rooftop Lounge above Vesuvio Bistro Italiano. You will get a great view, be able to watch the sunset, and stay warm by the fire pits.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

I would love for you to join me in my private Facebook group

It's a great place to interact with me and others who know the area well.

You can ask questions, get advice for your upcoming stay, and then share your photos and advice with others when you return home. It's a great community and the fastest way to get answers to those nagging questions about your visit!

Come join the fun here!

Nightlife Monterey Pin

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